How Can I Stop My Westie From Itching Itself to Death?

I have just rescued a 4 year old westie. The owners haven't taken very good care of it and it has a skin condition like eczema where large patches of hair are missing from its side and between all four legs where it is very black and dry. Can anyone help me firstly in the short term because it's hurting me just watching him. I already have a 4 yr old westie and he is absolutely fine. Also is there a chance my own dog will catch it?

Probably not. Westies have hereditary skin issues & like you said the previous owner didn't address. Your new dog may not completely recover but can make huge strides in getting better. I would not bathe him until a vet looks at him first. You will need medicated shampoos to treat the skin & anything you use now might make it worse. Until a vet fully examines him, there isn't much you can do other feed a good quality food & add fish oil to the food. Without seeing your dog firsthand I don't want to suggest any products. I can't stress enough, a vet first before using anything on the skin. Call & see if they will suggest giving antihistamine to help until appt. I had a westie & groom & work with a lot of them on their skin issues so you have to be so cautious with any products you use on them. You can easily make it far worse cuz his skin is hyper-sensitive right now & will break out more than it normally would.

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  • Paris D

    i have a westie to and he has a skin condition it is very common for wesites !

    i tink we took him to the vets and there gave us some antibiotics or something :)

    no your own dog cannot catch it, as our other dog hasnt :)

    xxx
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  • Spike

    go to the vet– it could be just fleas, but if it isn't your dog, i'd ask the owners about it and whether they've actually noticed!
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  • Mrs Boob

    when you own a pet the first thing you need to know is that if it has a problem….TAKE IT TO THE VET!!!

    Otherwise give it to a rehoming centre who will happily find it an owner who knows how to care for a dog
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  • *Chunky*Munkey*

    you need to take him to the vets. they will give he an antibiotic shot and some shampoo to bath him in daily, this should clear it up. there shouldnt be any risk of your other westie catching this.
    i have a 9yr old and he has just recovered from a very nasty bout of ezcema which came on when we changed his food, look at his food and ask the vet what he recomends as some dog foods can cause this condition, or at least exacerbate it.

    this is a very common problem with them so dont worry about it, but do get him to the vets as quickly as possible.
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  • joanplus4dogs

    Probably not. Westies have hereditary skin issues & like you said the previous owner didn't address. Your new dog may not completely recover but can make huge strides in getting better. I would not bathe him until a vet looks at him first. You will need medicated shampoos to treat the skin & anything you use now might make it worse. Until a vet fully examines him, there isn't much you can do other feed a good quality food & add fish oil to the food. Without seeing your dog firsthand I don't want to suggest any products. I can't stress enough, a vet first before using anything on the skin. Call & see if they will suggest giving antihistamine to help until appt. I had a westie & groom & work with a lot of them on their skin issues so you have to be so cautious with any products you use on them. You can easily make it far worse cuz his skin is hyper-sensitive right now & will break out more than it normally would.
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    30yr of grooming & specializing in terriers esp. westies

  • Becky M

    I have a Scottish Terrier, and they also have problems with their skin. Mine itches his stomach all the time, and with him it is just allergies. However, I would take him to the vet and make sure that it is not scabies or mange, or anything like that. Also, you could ask the vet about their special shampoo, like remoisturizing. If all else fails, talk to the vet about giving your dog children's benedryl. They can tell you the dose, but it helps with my dog's allergies during spring and fall. Good luck!
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  • tammeka

    There are a couple of questions that must be asked before I would every make a definite recommendation on this pet. I work for a veterinary clinic. Westies are well known for skin condtions. First thng that MUST be done is take your pet to your trusted veterinarian! There are many reasons not to experiment with advice from the Internet. I will try to give you some guideline for when you go to your vet. First thing, make sure your pet is totally flea free. Don't use over the counter flea products. Get something from you vet, they have the safest products on the market and they really work. I am not just saying that because I work for a vet :-) Ok so after the flea check…..the vet should make sure your pet doesn't not have a skin infection. Sometimes when pet's are itchy and sometimes lick a lot, they can actually get a yeast/bacteria infection on their skin. They are usually miserable at this point. Your vet will probably recommend some anti-itch medications as well as a 2 week or more course for anti-biotics. The other thing to consider, especially if your pet also suffers from chronic ear infections along with itchy skin. Sometimes they can develop a food reaction. Even though you may be feeding the same food it has always eaten. They can aquire allergies at any age. Your vet will recommend the best prescription diet for YOUR pet. We use Hill's Science Diet products and have GREAT success with the z/d and d/d products. However, these products can be costly. If you decide to do a food trial at home, he/she must eat only this food. No treats or people food. If you must give your pet a treat, replace the treats with the same diet you are feeding it, just keep the "treat jar" in the same place it used to be. Your pet will never know the difference. The most important thing for you to do is call your vet and the only things I can think of that your other pet would get is a fungal infection (ringworm) or fleas. Good Luck!
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  • little miss cavalier

    skin problems and allergy's are a common health issue in westies, best thing is see what your vet can do for him.
    will probably include medicated shampoo, inflammatory for a time and most probably change of diet,
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  • dorothy s

    Numerious dogs have problems with the grain in dog food.
    I have learnt by my mistakes. My present dog had dreadful problems because of the food which I gave her, I experimented with dog food, I tried raw diets, cooked diets and over the years I tried various dog foods. She did not like the raw diets and the dog food that I gave her resulted in diarrhoea. As an experienced dog owner I introduced any changes gradually. Nevertheless my dog still had problems. She was eight years old before I resolved her problem.
    Eventually, because of my researches on the Internet I found that the experts have discovered that GRAIN in our dog’s diet causes many problems. I now know that grain creates acidity in the blood. This causes skin problems, digestive issues, allergies, sickness, diarrhoea, anal gland problems etc.,

    if your dog has skin problems or any of the above problems PLEASE CHANGE THE DIET. Avoid Grain, rice, beef derivatives and dairy food

    I now give my dog a dried food which uses beet for fibre and fish. It’s called Fish4Dogs and I buy it on the Internet. Look on the Internet and investigate yourself. Gluten free dog food is not enough to help our dogs, it MUST BE GRAIN FREE.

    A rapid change of diet will upset your dog; any change of diet must be done gradually. Do please change to a grain free diet. I have had sixteen dogs throughout the years and they have had various problems. Perhaps if I had known about the dangers of GRAIN they would have had fewer problems. .
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    Dorothy S

  • suzie

    my friends dog has the same thing and is very itchy she took her to the vet and they gave her an injection and some shampoo its worked wonders compared to what she was like
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  • Patricia L

    I would take him to the vet he may have a skin problem.
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    Pets

  • Sarah D

    Eczema should not be contagious. Westie's aren't usually ones with bad skin and coat problems, other than sun sensitivity due to their light color. I would take him to the vet and see if he or she wants to prescribe a medication.

    Don't feed him foods you would get at the grocery store. Your vet may prescribe a prescription skin and coat food. Nutro Natural Choice or Nutro Ultra are two good choices. They contain Linoleic and Linolenic acids, two specific Omega 3 and 6's that are for skin and coat.
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  • Lois M

    Take him to a GOOD vet. My Westie was also itchy, and pulling his hair out by the mouthsfull. He had been to 3 different vets “Exzema, mange, skin allergies, anxiety ” the diagnosis’ went and on and on. We went from Benadryl to doggie antidepressants to ointments, and special shampoos and conditioners. Nothing helped. Finally yet another veterinarian decided she should have Duffy’s blood tested for food allergies. Jackpot! We found he is allergic to chicken, turkey, pork, eggs, rabbit, corn, barley, oats, soy, and sweet potato! All of these ingredients or by products of these, are found in various combinations in most commercial dog food. Your vet will give you the results of the blood panel which will tell you he can not have.
    It was hard to find a prepared dog food that did NOT contain one of these ingredients. And the chews he loves made specifically for doggie dental health, were basted in chicken broth! Then we found one of the natural brands that was only venison and brown rice, (Dick Van Pattens brand)which was shortly after removed from the market because of the brown rice- melamine thing a few years ago. Much of the brown rice was imported from China. The veterinarian gave us a bag of Iams “Veterinary Formula Skin and Coat”. It is made up of only fish and white potatos, and various added nutrients. He loves it and the endless scratching stopped. We are very careful of what tastes and treats he receives now. It has made a world of difference. The food is $18.00 /6 lb. bag, from the vet, and the freeze dried beef liver treats are also expensive. But it is worth the cost to have eliminated that terrible misery he was in. See your vet! Get the blood tests done. Your best friend will thank you again and again.